NPO Fatigue Tester
Design and development of
a new device for testing prosthetic feet
Tara Ziolo, B.Sc.E, Rad Zdero, Ph.D, Tim Bryant, Ph.D, P.Eng.
The ongoing problem of amputations resulting
from land mines in developing and post-conflict countries
such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Croatia, and Angola
provides the impetus for the current study. Although the
need for community based rehabilitation in these areas is
recognized as advantageous, it is carried out often without
the use of appropriate context-sensitive prosthetic technology.
To this end, the overall purpose of the present ongoing
investigation is the development of a lower limb prosthetic
system - starting with the foot - that
is affordable for the target population, highly functional, esthetically
and culturally acceptable to users, and scientifically
validated through a series
of clinical, field, and laboratory studies.
Briefly, this document outlines the scientific work done
to date in the development of the Niagara Foot, provides
a literature survey of previous mechanical cyclic
fatigue testers for assessing prosthetic feet, describes the design and development
of the current NPO Fatigue Tester, discusses the preliminary test results for
Niagara and SACH feet using the this tester, and gives consideration to future
This work is being
done by the Human Mobility Research Centre (Kingston General
Hospital and Queen’s University, Kingston, ON) in conjunction
with Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics (St. Catharines, ON).